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(io9)   The "Space Age" isn't over   (io9.com) divider line 62
    More: Obvious, Skylab, asteroid belt, space races, moons, space habitats, Cassini  
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3121 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Sep 2013 at 2:36 AM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-05 12:18:44 AM
It will never end.
 
2013-09-05 12:56:41 AM
It doesn't want to go on the cart
 
2013-09-05 02:19:09 AM
Humanity
- flew a rocket to Mars
- Lowered a giant robot towards the surface
- Had that giant robot drop a smaller robot on the surface
- and then fly away

That's about the coolest thing ever.
 
2013-09-05 02:37:50 AM
Computer age has supplanted space age.
 
Skr
2013-09-05 02:59:57 AM
until we have an impenetrable wall of space junk, viva la resistance
 
2013-09-05 03:12:13 AM

unlikely: Humanity
- flew a rocket to Mars
- Lowered a giant robot towards the surface
- Had that giant robot drop a smaller robot on the surface
- and then fly away

That's about the coolest thing ever.


Eh... I kinda see it this way:

Sgygus: Computer age has supplanted space age.


Our efforts in space exploration don't define us as a species anymore.  Going in a strictly positive sense, this would be the information age or the computer age.

I hope to be part of a renewed push in space exploration, but this time isn't exactly an extra-ordinary one for the science.

BTW, can anyone identify that lady astronaut?  She looks awfully familiar...
 
2013-09-05 03:44:19 AM
Perhaps we can 3-d print our way to the stars!  Hahaha fools!

/sorry
 
2013-09-05 04:15:37 AM
Oh yeah? Notify me when I can buy one of these:
a407.idata.over-blog.com

/for real, I mean
 
2013-09-05 04:57:29 AM
I kind of agree that the space age is over. We aren't tackling space exploration with the same fervor we did with the Apollo program or the shuttle program pre-Challenger and subsequently pre-Columbia.

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate reasons why. Namely that we know way more about space now than we did back during the Apollo program... and we know that it's pretty unsafe as hell. The safety concerns are way bigger now than they were then after what we've learned.

As a result, the money needed to keep our astronauts safe is a lot more now than it was back then, and that's money Congress isn't willing to appropriate. Furthermore, the American people are 'done' fighting the reds in a space race. That race is over. And I seriously doubt Obama or any future president will inspire the American people into caring about a second space race like Kennedy did.

And we won't care because we're a lot more smarter and technologically savvy than we were then. We're also way more cynical, and given the tragedies of Challenger and Columbia... the media scrutinizes it a lot more and NASA loses more credibility.

So maybe the space age is over from a manned exploration point of view. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since our robotics technology is far more advanced now than it was then. But it's kind of hard to get hyped over a several billion dollar tonka toy being dropped on Mars as compared to say... a couple of human beings.

The space age isn't necessarily over, it's just taken on a new perspective.
 
2013-09-05 05:18:07 AM

Sandwyrm: unlikely: Humanity
- flew a rocket to Mars
- Lowered a giant robot towards the surface
- Had that giant robot drop a smaller robot on the surface
- and then fly away

That's about the coolest thing ever.

Eh... I kinda see it this way:

Sgygus: Computer age has supplanted space age.

Our efforts in space exploration don't define us as a species anymore.  Going in a strictly positive sense, this would be the information age or the computer age.

I hope to be part of a renewed push in space exploration, but this time isn't exactly an extra-ordinary one for the science.

BTW, can anyone identify that lady astronaut?  She looks awfully familiar...


Tracy Caldwell Dyson
 
2013-09-05 06:18:27 AM
Gee, really? A deadly vacuum with a few ppb of empty cold rocks and another few ppb of roasted rocks has failed to materialize the delusional fever dreams of a few over-enthusiastic children?

I would never have guessed.

By all means, keep sending machines and drool over pictures on a screen.

Just don't plan that summer BBQ on Olympus Mons just yet.

timenewsfeed.files.wordpress.com

"And the kids will love it here, it's a safe neighborhood. Your condo will have rust countertops and five appliances..."

"I'll take it!"

"Gasp! We're dead!"

We're here, and no one's going anywhere, you fools.
 
2013-09-05 06:41:00 AM
Sadly, though, the spacemaker age is, barring a few holdouts.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-05 06:49:56 AM

Weatherkiss: I kind of agree that the space age is over. We aren't tackling space exploration with the same fervor we did with the Apollo program or the shuttle program pre-Challenger and subsequently pre-Columbia.

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate reasons why. Namely that we know way more about space now than we did back during the Apollo program... and we know that it's pretty unsafe as hell. The safety concerns are way bigger now than they were then after what we've learned.

As a result, the money needed to keep our astronauts safe is a lot more now than it was back then, and that's money Congress isn't willing to appropriate. Furthermore, the American people are 'done' fighting the reds in a space race. That race is over. And I seriously doubt Obama or any future president will inspire the American people into caring about a second space race like Kennedy did.

And we won't care because we're a lot more smarter and technologically savvy than we were then. We're also way more cynical, and given the tragedies of Challenger and Columbia... the media scrutinizes it a lot more and NASA loses more credibility.

So maybe the space age is over from a manned exploration point of view. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since our robotics technology is far more advanced now than it was then. But it's kind of hard to get hyped over a several billion dollar tonka toy being dropped on Mars as compared to say... a couple of human beings.

The space age isn't necessarily over, it's just taken on a new perspective.


Bullshiat, money isn't the issue. I'm quite sure we could if done in a competent way could send a manned mission to Mars by giving NASA a budget that at least 1 percent. 30 billion a year, that's all we'd need and its affordable. You just take that 30 billion from the defense budget. Boom.

Guess what though. SLS & Orion as much as I'd like them to be, aren't doing things in a competent way. Mostly because they aren't about actually going anywhere, SLS & Orion are a jobs program and have always been a jobs program. A 16 year jobs program at that! It took 7 years for us to develop Apollo, 9 years to develop Orion/SLS and we don't even have an agreed upon destination for them.

Part of the problem is that we don't have a goal for our manned program that is specific. The cold war drove our manned program through the last century and now that shuttle is a museum piece and ISS is looking like it wont be renewed past 2020 it looks like we're going to throw away all that hard work and ingenuity. Another part of the problem is that we aren't very interested in pushing the boundaries of what is possible anymore. SLS/Orion is a great jobs program, but it isn't a sustainable path to anywhere and its going to take too long that it'll likely be cancelled before it gets anywhere.

Maybe it can be salvaged, I don't know but what I do know is that while things are bad there is hope. Space X is easily the company at the leading edge of aerospace. A good example is the Falcon 9, which Space is pushing to be reusable. Which if successful, will dramatically change how we've done things for the past 50 years.

One thing I do know is that Congress needs to go. At least this short sighted bunch of jokers who are driving our best scientists overseas because we can't agree on a farking budget. They are the root of the problem, as well as our industrial space/military complex. The F-35 is a pile of crap, another expensive job program that exists more for any other reason to pump money into the industrial military complex. Same goes for SLS/Orion.

We are plenty capable, but we have lost our way. I do have some hope that all the old farts that ran this country into the ground will die off soon, and maybe the younger generation can do something about it. Maybe. >.>
 
2013-09-05 06:56:02 AM
No, but we as a culture have decided that a Domination Victory is more important than building the Spaceship.
 
2013-09-05 08:22:34 AM
Bleah. Novice writer turns me off.

There's nothing worse than being confronted by some self-righteous diatribe that assumes, from word one, that you are the author's enemy. It's like being confronted by some crazy-eyed hippie who assumes you've just come from killing twelve whales for breakfast.

"Stop Pretending We Aren't Living In The Space Age!!!"

Huh? Wut? Was I pretending that? I just... clcked a link... I dunno...

"I am sick of hearing people say that the Space Age is "over" because we haven't sent humans back to the Moon. Seriously? That's your complaint? You people need to shut the hell up, and this gorgeous picture of Saturn taken by Cassini is just one reason why."

And I should care what you are sick of hearing..? And in two sentences, I'm sick of hearing you whine. I don't remember complaining about anything. You need to adjust your farking rag and get back in the house until your Aunt Flo leaves, you crazy menstruating maniac...

Yeah. You just gained a new reader, spazz biatch. If I needed abuse from some unexpected and undeserved angle, I'd talk to my girlfriend...
 
2013-09-05 08:27:07 AM
"You people need to shut the hell up"...

Nice writing gramps..
 
2013-09-05 08:30:51 AM
It's just not practical at the moment.  Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?
 
2013-09-05 08:52:59 AM

StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment.  Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?


We should do it because we can. To push our boundaries.
 
2013-09-05 09:04:41 AM

machoprogrammer: StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment.  Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?

We should do it because we can. To push our boundaries.




This, because the second age of exploration is at hand and we can start it within our lifetime.

We have, literally, only scratched the surface of a few locations in this solar system. As computers and rockets advance, we will gain access to more of it and add to our potential gains.

The race to the moon altered everything from how we communicate to how we perceive ourselves and the earth as a limited environment. We gained a whole new order of technology and social change.
There is an unfathomable amount to still gain, and just beyond our fingertips.
 
2013-09-05 09:18:21 AM

StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment.  Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?


Other than the cool factor, nothing. And it would cost an enormous amount of money.

To put it into perspective, our problem with space is like someone trying to swim the Atlantic. The idea of sending someone to Mars is like sending someone to swim out to a little rock 20 miles away and then swimming back again. And you can make yourself as fit as possible, and you still won't get across. It required a new piece of technology, the boat to solve the problem.

And that's what we need with space. We need something that allows us to cover distances far, far greater than we can now. Whether that's some sort of cryogenic freezing of ourselves, wormholes, faster-than-light engines, working with what we have now and improving it is just not going to solve the problem.

So, stop throwing at money at what we do now. The ISS is a waste of money. Divert all space spending into probes and physics research, and once we've solved the distance problem, then start sending people up.
 
2013-09-05 09:44:03 AM
Yeah? Let me know when 75% of the humans race starts caring, and the other 25% stops actively trying to defund space exploration.

All that awesome shiat mentioned in this 'article' as an argument that we're living in the space age are the result of the global scientific community operating on a shoestring budget, in SPITE of the rest of humanity. They've been doing these amazing things with the table scraps that they've struggled to snatch from short-sighted, ignorant governments before they could be consumed in yet another asinine war.

Did you know that it was once seriously considered in the scientific community to send a one-way suicide mission to mars in an attempt to trick govts into funding a rescue mission? To try and make humanity CARE again? That's the kind of quiet desperation we're talking about here. Trying to uplift the human race in spite of itself, to save us from ourselves before we vanish in nuclear fire.

We aren't living in the space age, and the space age hasn't ended. The space age hasn't even begun, and it won't until the human race as a WHOLE turns our eyes to the stars.
 
2013-09-05 10:32:21 AM
Quantum Apostrophe: WHARRGARBL

karelianblonde.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-09-05 10:35:40 AM

StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment.  Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?


The United States became the richest and most powerful nation in the world in part because we innovated and pushed the boundaries of what was possible. Now we all like, meh. Which btw, has had some very real economic benefits. The space program forces us to find new solutions to new problems, which has a domino effect on our economy because this is research that otherwise wont get done. When we commit ourselves to grand leaps forward we invest in a better future for ourselves.

Things will never get better if we wait till things get better to do anything. Plus, the costs in the grand scheme of things are really tiny. NASA went to the moon on 4 to 2 percent of the national budget, and then we stopped even though we still had flight hardware ready to go. >.>
 
2013-09-05 11:00:41 AM

whosits_112: Quantum Apostrophe: WHARRGARBL

[karelianblonde.files.wordpress.com image 512x410]


You see, I have QA on my ignore list, so like astronomers looking at a black hole via the stars orbiting it, or knowing to stay away from a hot chick when a tube of Abreva drops from her purse, I see his presence only through the responses of others.
 
2013-09-05 11:12:36 AM

r1niceboy: whosits_112: Quantum Apostrophe: WHARRGARBL

[karelianblonde.files.wordpress.com image 512x410]

You see, I have QA on my ignore list, so like astronomers looking at a black hole via the stars orbiting it, or knowing to stay away from a hot chick when a tube of Abreva drops from her purse, I see his presence only through the responses of others.


I know some folks have him on ignore, that is why I chose not to quote his derp. Just thought it would be good to tell others that he has, in fact arrived. Like a plague of angry, butthurt, immortality seeking locusts...
 
2013-09-05 11:27:17 AM

machoprogrammer: StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment.  Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?

We should do it because we can. To push our boundaries.


Why not push our boundaries with robot building, where the robot technology can also be useful on earth?
 
2013-09-05 11:28:25 AM
Not only are we actually visiting every damn nook and cranny in our solar system - and sending back some of the most awe-inspiring images and data you've ever seen - but we are not doing it like idiots. We are exploring before we shoot our fragile little bodies out there into the radiation-saturated unknown.

I think the author just called my Kerbals 'idiots.'

growlersoftware.com
 
2013-09-05 11:52:53 AM

Weatherkiss: I kind of agree that the space age is over. We aren't tackling space exploration with the same fervor we did with the Apollo program or the shuttle program pre-Challenger and subsequently pre-Columbia.

I'm not saying there aren't legitimate reasons why. Namely that we know way more about space now than we did back during the Apollo program... and we know that it's pretty unsafe as hell. The safety concerns are way bigger now than they were then after what we've learned.

As a result, the money needed to keep our astronauts safe is a lot more now than it was back then, and that's money Congress isn't willing to appropriate. Furthermore, the American people are 'done' fighting the reds in a space race. That race is over. And I seriously doubt Obama or any future president will inspire the American people into caring about a second space race like Kennedy did.

And we won't care because we're a lot more smarter and technologically savvy than we were then. We're also way more cynical, and given the tragedies of Challenger and Columbia... the media scrutinizes it a lot more and NASA loses more credibility.

So maybe the space age is over from a manned exploration point of view. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since our robotics technology is far more advanced now than it was then. But it's kind of hard to get hyped over a several billion dollar tonka toy being dropped on Mars as compared to say... a couple of human beings.

The space age isn't necessarily over, it's just taken on a new perspective.


No, The United States is not putting as much money into space exploration as it once was. That is the problem for Americans, because we are so nationalistic. We expect the Space Age to be over, because we are no longer putting even 1% of our GDP into it. Fortunately the Chinese are there to pick up the slack.

Hopefully when the Baby Boomers finally die we can sweep aside the Teatard Xers and return this country to it's rightful place as Socialistic power house that harnesses the power of Capitalism for the betterment of the people. Instead of a Capitalist whore house selling it's people into poverty to further enrich the 1%ers.
 
2013-09-05 12:01:12 PM

impaler: Why not push our boundaries with robot building, where the robot technology can also be useful on earth?


Because that's not pushing boundaries.  Incremental improvements to existing inventions is merely reaching our existing boundaries.  Pushing boundaries is to dream the impossible and then find a way to get there.  What you're thinking of is engineering, and a general symptom of just how depleted America's imagination is.

We kinda licked species survival a few millenia ago, and which point we've mostly been manufacturing problems to solve.  I suppose sociopaths are good for something, but if we can bother to just start dreaming again we wouldn't need assholes to keep us sharp.
 
2013-09-05 12:34:09 PM

dragonchild: Because that's not pushing boundaries.  Incremental improvements to existing inventions is merely reaching our existing boundaries.  Pushing boundaries is to dream the impossible and then find a way to get there.  What you're thinking of is engineering, and a general symptom of just how depleted America's imagination is.


You just lack the vision of what we can get robots to do, which is a general symptom of just how depleted America's imagination is.
 
2013-09-05 12:38:43 PM

farkeruk: StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment.  Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?

Other than the cool factor, nothing. And it would cost an enormous amount of money.

To put it into perspective, our problem with space is like someone trying to swim the Atlantic. The idea of sending someone to Mars is like sending someone to swim out to a little rock 20 miles away and then swimming back again. And you can make yourself as fit as possible, and you still won't get across. It required a new piece of technology, the boat to solve the problem.

And that's what we need with space. We need something that allows us to cover distances far, far greater than we can now. Whether that's some sort of cryogenic freezing of ourselves, wormholes, faster-than-light engines, working with what we have now and improving it is just not going to solve the problem.

So, stop throwing at money at what we do now. The ISS is a waste of money. Divert all space spending into probes and physics research, and once we've solved the distance problem, then start sending people up.


impaler: Why not push our boundaries with robot building, where the robot technology can also be useful on earth?


This is the wrong way to go about it, and the wrong way to think about it. In perspective very little money is being spent on space exploration and research currently, so it isn't like money is being thrown into a bottomless pit with zero return on investment. The robotic and probe development is generating good data, which is return on investment in terms of knowledge, but they don't do much in terms of pushing the envelope technology wise. Other than the "getting them there" part most of the technology for remote control and automation was developed for other purposes and then applied to the NASA probes. But they are incredibly useful endeavours. We need to learn more about places if we a)want to go there and b) just want to learn more about the solar system. Both of those goals are worthy ones.

But our manned programs aren't wastes of money either. We do experiments on the ISS that can only be done with human being actually present to conduct them, these tell us valuable things about the effect of weightlessness on various aspects of biology. Other experiments are important for learning new things about chemical or physical reactions in different environments and under different conditions than what we can do on Earth. And of course there is the aspect of generating interest in space and science generally that having human beings in orbit does. Having a guy like Chris Hatfield in space tweeting and facebooking pictures and doing informational videos about daily life on the space station had positive benefits beyond just knowledge gathering and technology generation.

Doing manned missions to parts of our own solar system aren't huge technological hurdles. NASA is reasonably sure we can do a manned Mars expedition with levels of radiation exposure that will be fine, although maybe not if you want to have kids afterwards, with current technology. But it will take a long time to get a mission going because they tend to want to over engineer everything and reduce hazards to quite low levels. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it means long wait times until we actually do it. And there is significant technology in advanced testing that will be able to seriously cut down transit times for missions within our solar system.

Yeah, if we want to leave the solar system, that requires some pretty pie-in-the-sky technology development that might not be possible for a very long time, if ever. But we certainly can explore our own solar system with manned missions, and develop long-term habitats in various places. It isn't going to happen soon but it is more about cost and infrastructure investment than anything.
 
2013-09-05 12:40:40 PM

impaler: You just lack the vision of what we can get robots to do, which is a general symptom of just how depleted America's imagination is.


We will do a lot with robots, but we can't do everything with them. There is also an unquantifiable factor to having a person physically exploring some place versus just robotic probes. We want to go places and do things ourselves whenever possible.
 
2013-09-05 12:47:32 PM
I think that Apollo needs to be viewed as a frantic abberation in what should be a slow methodical process toward becoming a multiplanet species. If JFK hadn't been assassinated and we were in a cold war, would we have proceeded to dedicate 5% of the federal budget to getting to the Moon?

I don't think so.

The path that was being pursued by the lifting body program was a far more sustainable approach to getting people into orbit and IMHO, it still is the best for the long run.

Using rockets to burn a hole in the sky for cargo transport is sensible, if it is reusable like the F9 is progressing toward.

I honestly have high hopes for the Dream Chaser team and if they can get their vehicle to launch on an F9, then the cost to orbit for people gets much better.

I don't expect to see airline airfare costs for people to orbit in my lifetime, but if it is ten times of a charter flight from Ottawa to the Northpole then I think that a sustainable space program and colonization plan can proceed.

By using robots and people we can do a lot of science and learn more about working in space.
 
2013-09-05 12:50:37 PM

dragonchild: Because that's not pushing boundaries. Incremental improvements to existing inventions is merely reaching our existing boundaries. Pushing boundaries is to dream the impossible and then find a way to get there. What you're thinking of is engineering, and a general symptom of just how depleted America's imagination is.

We kinda licked species survival a few millenia ago, and which point we've mostly been manufacturing problems to solve. I suppose sociopaths are good for something, but if we can bother to just start dreaming again we wouldn't need assholes to keep us sharp.


Robots, people and teleoperated robots can do a lot. I think that any manageable outpost on the Moon will include teleoperated robots controlled with predictive displays from Earth.
 
2013-09-05 12:51:48 PM

Pariah.: Yeah? Let me know when 75% of the humans race Americans starts caring, and the other 25% stops actively trying to defund space exploration.


FTFY.

There's a little over 1 billion registered motor vehicles in the world; I guess the human race doesn't give a shiat about the Automobile Age, either.  Imagine how awesome life would be if 75% of the world cared about the technological and economic benefits of driving a car.

Just because your country gave up doesn't mean the game is over; it just means that you've flamed out early, like Portugal.  There are other nations willing to throw money at manned spaceflight.
 
2013-09-05 01:06:15 PM
Apollo in 1969. Shuttle in 1981. Nothing in 2011. Our space program would look awesome to anyone living backwards thru time.

- Neil deGrasse Tyson
 
2013-09-05 01:07:43 PM
StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment. Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?

Translation:

weightlossvictory.com
...because doing things is harrrd.
 
2013-09-05 01:28:38 PM

OnlyM3: StrangeQ: It's just not practical at the moment. Yes, we could manage to put together a manned mission to Mars, but what would really be gained from it?
Translation:

[weightlossvictory.com image 400x267]
...because doing things is harrrd.


Eh, he has a point. Right now there's not much of a reason to put a person on Mars other than to say we put a man on Mars. What really needs to be done first is figure out how to create a viable research station and at least short term living environment on extraterrestrial ground, like say the on the moon. After we have that down, then put folks on Mars. Baby steps and all that.
 
2013-09-05 02:01:39 PM

Dingleberry Dickwad: Right now there's not much of a reason to put a person on Mars other than to say we put a man on Mars. What really needs to be done first is figure out how to create a viable research station and at least short term living environment on extraterrestrial ground, like say the on the moon. After we have that down, then put folks on Mars.


That's the way we do things here, I guess.  OTOH, if you made an offer for the first person to ever be on Mars to essentially make a one-way trip that lasted only as long as the resources brought along for the trip -- in other words, a suicide mission -- the number of qualified candidates that sign up would exceed thousands within the first 24 hours.  Not a single one of them would be in the least bit suicidal.

This is something the bean-counters and do-nothings and businessmen just don't get.  How could they?  They lack the mental capacity to understand how these sorts of people think.  Some groups of people aren't motivated by self-interest or profit or utility or pragmatism.  They don't challenge every idea with, "What's in it for me?"  Some people just want to watch the world burn understand that the only form of true immortality is legacy, and would jump at the chance to make history even if it was the last thing they ever did.  The problem is that our society, as structured now, has absolutely no use for these people whatsoever.
 
2013-09-05 02:02:49 PM

Sgygus: Computer age has supplanted space age.


Information age has supplanted computer age.
 
2013-09-05 02:06:02 PM

perigee: Bleah. Novice writer turns me off.

There's nothing worse than being confronted by some self-righteous diatribe that assumes, from word one, that you are the author's enemy.


See also: anything "written" by Corky Doctorow.
 
2013-09-05 02:21:36 PM
When do we get to move on to the Information Age?

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-05 02:28:42 PM

Dingleberry Dickwad: Eh, he has a point. Right now there's not much of a reason to put a person on Mars other than to say we put a man on Mars. What really needs to be done first is figure out how to create a viable research station and at least short term living environment on extraterrestrial ground, like say the on the moon. After we have that down, then put folks on Mars. Baby steps and all that.


Other than possibility of recovery and cost, figuring out how to put a research station on the moon and one on Mars isn't that much different from one another from a technological point of view. And the rewards for research on Mars is much more significant.
 
2013-09-05 02:32:16 PM

dragonchild: Dingleberry Dickwad: Right now there's not much of a reason to put a person on Mars other than to say we put a man on Mars. What really needs to be done first is figure out how to create a viable research station and at least short term living environment on extraterrestrial ground, like say the on the moon. After we have that down, then put folks on Mars.

That's the way we do things here, I guess.  OTOH, if you made an offer for the first person to ever be on Mars to essentially make a one-way trip that lasted only as long as the resources brought along for the trip -- in other words, a suicide mission -- the number of qualified candidates that sign up would exceed thousands within the first 24 hours.  Not a single one of them would be in the least bit suicidal.

This is something the bean-counters and do-nothings and businessmen just don't get.  How could they?  They lack the mental capacity to understand how these sorts of people think.  Some groups of people aren't motivated by self-interest or profit or utility or pragmatism.  They don't challenge every idea with, "What's in it for me?"  Some people just want to watch the world burn understand that the only form of true immortality is legacy, and would jump at the chance to make history even if it was the last thing they ever did.  The problem is that our society, as structured now, has absolutely no use for these people whatsoever.


I think you're overstating the number of qualified astronauts out there, and the number of people that would jump at what amounts to a suicide mission. Yeah there's glory hounds out there, but I'm not so sure they'd be interested in a suicide mission. And I don't think it's really a matter of business men and bean counters going "What's in it for me" so much as "What scientific benefit is there from just putting a person there?" I'm sure there can be plenty of scientific benefits down the road from a long term space habitat on a celestial body, but we have to get to the point where we can make it possible to do so first.
 
2013-09-05 02:39:15 PM

entropic_existence: Dingleberry Dickwad: Eh, he has a point. Right now there's not much of a reason to put a person on Mars other than to say we put a man on Mars. What really needs to be done first is figure out how to create a viable research station and at least short term living environment on extraterrestrial ground, like say the on the moon. After we have that down, then put folks on Mars. Baby steps and all that.

Other than possibility of recovery and cost, figuring out how to put a research station on the moon and one on Mars isn't that much different from one another from a technological point of view. And the rewards for research on Mars is much more significant.


I wouldn't go that far. If done properly, putting a research center on the moon first makes it so that when mistakes are made in figuring out how to do things properly, the crew can bug out and head back or be rescued much easier than if we were to attempt the learning process on Mars.  Granted I know that realistically if things go foul while trying to set up a research station on any planetary body, it's likely to be fatal, but at least it's easier to have extra resources standing by when attempting it on the moon first just in case.
 
2013-09-05 03:11:12 PM

you have pee hands: When do we get to move on to the Information Age?

[i.imgur.com image 480x360]


I miss that game
 
2013-09-05 04:23:39 PM

farkeruk: Other than the cool factor, nothing. And it would cost an enormous amount of money.


And therein lies the problem.  In case anyone else here hasn't noticed, we're not exactly living in a golden age of human civilization where having solved all of our other problems we simple do not know what else to invest in with our vast amount of surplus resources.  The world is a nasty, bitter place and getting moreso every day.  We still have farking dictators waging chemical warfare on their own populations for farks sake.  Add that to the famine, poverty, oppression and widespread death depending on exactly which part of the world you wish to focus on, and you start to realize that maybe this isn't the best time for idealistic delusions of space grandeur.

And before anyone lumps me in with a certain space shiatter that likes to troll these threads, know that I do fully support space exploration and I do believe that we will get there one day...it's just that day is not today and we have a ways to go before we get there.  Much like the US needs to clean its own house before we start intervening even more in other parts of the world, the world has a lot of developing to do before it can fully realize and appreciate the signficance of spreading beyond our home planet.
 
2013-09-05 04:29:43 PM

Dingleberry Dickwad: I think you're overstating the number of qualified astronauts out there


I should've used the word "capable".  The #1 obstacle to increasing the number of astronauts we have now is that there is not enough for them to do.  Making more isn't a problem if we have a reason for them to exist.

Dingleberry Dickwad: and the number of people that would jump at what amounts to a suicide mission.


Thousands out of a population of 350 million?  0.001% of the population?  It's not often I encounter someone with even less faith in humanity than me.
 
2013-09-05 04:40:28 PM

StrangeQ: In case anyone else here hasn't noticed, we're not exactly living in a golden age of human civilization where having solved all of our other problems we simple do not know what else to invest in with our vast amount of surplus resources. The world is a nasty, bitter place and getting moreso every day. We still have farking dictators waging chemical warfare on their own populations for farks sake. Add that to the famine, poverty, oppression and widespread death depending on exactly which part of the world you wish to focus on, and you start to realize that maybe this isn't the best time for idealistic delusions of space grandeur.


For a country oh so eager to use the world's problems as an excuse for inaction when it comes to advancing society's collective knowledge of the universe, we sure find a lot of money to spend on entertainment.  We could get to Mars easily with what we spend on NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA.  College sports, too.  And then there's all the money we spend on fancy dinners, movies, concerts, parties, TV, drugs, booze, hookers n' porn.  Now, I do NOT advocate that we take money that people would spend on vices just so we get to dictate how that windfall is spent.  I'm just saying, GET YOUR FARKING HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS.  Science is the LEAST of your concerns when it comes to resources NOT being allocated toward solving the world's problems, and sure as hell goes a long way toward making the world a better place than all the resources spent paying attention to Miley effin' Cyrus.
 
2013-09-05 05:15:49 PM

whosits_112: r1niceboy: whosits_112: Quantum Apostrophe: WHARRGARBL

I know some folks have him on ignore, that is why I chose not to quote his derp. Just thought it would be good to tell others that he has, in fact arrived. Like a plague of angry, butthurt, immortality seeking locusts...


The kind of angry, butthurt, immortal locusts I wanna keep in a little bitty tempered glass jar with a baling wire lid.

[best part...] Forever.

Mmmmm, tasty butthurt.
 
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